Take a leisurely walk along the Spree and discover mediaeval Berlin at the village church in Stralau.
On a beautiful day, a great place to enjoy the leisurely side of Berlin is the Stralau peninsula, where you can take a walk past self-built houseboats, canoes and pedal boats on the water. Almost at the end of the peninsula you come to an old church. If it’s a Sunday in summer between midday and 4 p.m. you can take a look inside Stralau’s village church, and discover the only mediaeval stained glass in all of Berlin.
The history of the church
At the end of the headland between the river Spree and Lake Rummelsburg, in Stralau cemetery, is Friedrichshain’s oldest church, built in the 15th century. Although it has been modified and renovated many times over the years, the nave and pentagonal choir have survived from mediaeval times. The church originally had a half-timbered steeple, but today, after several modifications, it has a Neo-Gothic appearance. In the 19th century, a Brick Gothic vestibule was added. Today, the church, together with its cemetery and the chapel, form a group of listed buildings on the eastern edge of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.
What makes it special are the glass windows with their Late Gothic stained-glass art. Works such as the Flagellation of Christ from 1460 and a portrait of St. George from 1510 decorate the interior. And that makes it unique in Berlin. The chalice-shaped font is believed to be older than the church itself.
The church did not get its Late Gothic winged altar until 1962 when it was rebuilt after the Second World War. Until then, it had not had an altar.
Guided tours and events at the Dorfkirche Stralau
Every first Sunday morning in the month, you can attend a service at the Dorfkirche Stralau. You can also ring up to book a visit. Organised tours take you around the church and the whole peninsula. Sometimes you will hear church music and choral song coming from the church on special occasions.